Kink within the queer community is not the same as kink outside of it. In fact, my straight friends don't even refer to it as kink, but rather 'fetish' or an umbrella 'BDSM.'
There is a long-standing cultural tie to kink within the queer community, and it is incredibly important, at least to me, to ensure this part of queer history is acknowledged. Thus, it cannot be separated from LGBTQ+.
Would you say that a larger percentage of LGBTQ+ people are into kink, compared to straight people? Or is it just that the LGBTQ+ who are into kink have a different relationship with it than straight people do? Maybe there's an aspect to all of this that I'm not understanding - this community is, after all, a lot older than I am.
For me, I think what it really all boils down to is this: I don't like it when Pride perpetuates the misconception that LGBTQ+ people, especially gay men like myself, are all obsessed with sex. I said earlier that there's no harm in being "a little bit sexy" at Pride and I stand by that, but I worry that it could send a bad message to the public if it goes too far. This applies to all kinds of sex, but I find kink at Pride especially problematic because it's a lot more conspicuous, and thus far more likely to have a negative impact on the public's perception of our community.
If kink is intrinsic to the LGBTQ+ community, there are far more appropriate places to acknowledge the relationship between the two - for example on Grindr, in dedicated social groups, and in 18+ sex clubs. We can discuss and enjoy sex and kink amongst ourselves as much as we wish. But at Pride, a public event, do we really need to put our sex lives on display for the whole world to see?
I'm not for a moment suggesting that kinky LGBTQ+ people aren't welcome at Pride. I'm simply suggesting that, while at Pride, we all exercise a degree of public decency and keep our sex lives private.
I'm all for challenging the status quo, and if kinky people want to be publicly indecent at a kink-themed event, all the power to them. But at Pride, not everyone is willing to participate in such a radical endeavour.
I think this article makes a compelling case for why kink shouldn't be included at Pride events. There are a few flaws in the author's argument (he doesn't acknowledge the fact that kink is an identity for some people, nor the fact that people in the kink community can experience discrimination) but overall, the points he makes resonate with me. I think these two paragraphs are especially important:
Overtly sexualized displays — or in more extreme instances, public sex and nudity — breech the boundaries of good taste and decency even as Pride stretches what is and is not acceptable. It alienates members of our community who are modest, who have ethical or philosophical objections (as many feminists do), who have children, or who simply do not want to participate in your sex life as unwilling voyeurs. BDSM and kink displays deter many of us from attending, including LGBT friends of mine with small kids. Pride should be for everyone in the LGBT community. In order for that to be possible, boundaries must be set and respected.
Pride should keep its focus on LGBT folks and our rights, equality, and liberation — not on a fetish that can include straight people and ostracizes some members of our own community. Every member of our community and all of our allies, from children to pensioners, should be able to celebrate their sexual orientation or gender identity without being forced to participate in someone else’s sex life.